Market prices

UK livestock price trends analysis


A small improvement in prime cattle prices was seen at GB auction markets (week ended 4 April). Steers saw the largest rise, up 2p to average 161p/kg. Cull cow throughputs rose nearly 15% and the overall average price was up 2p to 112p/kg.

UK imports of fresh and frozen beef in January 2009, at 16,000t, were 7% lower than a year ago, due to reduced supplies from Brazil, at less than 200t in January compared with over 2,000t in January 2008. The UK imported 22% more Uruguayan beef than in January 2008. Exports of fresh and frozen beef in January 2009 increased year-on-year by 2% to 8,000t.



Seasonal Easter demand meant that the old-season SQQ increased by 7p/kg to 187.6p/kg (w/e 4 April), while the new-season SQQ rose by more than 16p on the week to 222.7p/kg

Although the pound remained weak against the euro, a reduction in domestic supplies and higher prices contributed to a fall in UK sheep meat exports in January 2009. As a result UK exports, at 6,000t, were 14% lower than year-earlier levels.

The UK imported 30% more fresh and frozen sheep meat in January compared with January 2008. Supplies from New Zealand increased by 47% year-on-year to 9,000t.



As supplies remain tight and sterling weak, pig prices stayed buoyant. The DAPP strengthened to 145.8p/kg dw (w/e 4 April).

The low value of sterling aided a 4% increase in UK pork exports in January to over 10,000t. Germany was the largest market, despite shipments falling 8% compared with year-earlier levels due to lower sow slaughterings. This fall was more than offset in volume terms by increased demand from the Irish Republic. Imports of fresh and frozen pork fell nearly 18% in January compared with year-earlier levels.

Shipments from all the main sources were down on the year.